More Than 70,000 New Unemployment Claims In Massachusetts

BOSTON (State House News Service) — More than 30 million Americans and 725,000 Massachusetts workers have filed unemployment claims in the last six weeks amid widespread economic shutdowns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest weekly figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The count of initial claims filed in the week ending April 25 slowed slightly from the record levels observed in prior weeks, both nationally and in Massachusetts, but continued a trend of unprecedented demand.

Between April 19 and April 25, about 3.8 million out-of-work employees submitted new applications across the country, as did 70,714 in Massachusetts,federal data show.

Ongoing claims, which show how many people continued to seek more than one week of support, totaled 528,178 in Massachusetts through April 18, according to Thursday's report.

The federal data only include traditional unemployment claims and do not count previously ineligible workers, such as contractors and the self-employed, who can access benefits through the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program Congress created.

Massachusetts labor officials last week reported more than 200,000 applications for the PUA program -- which, unlike standard benefits, will be reimbursed by the federal government -- in its first three days. They will provide an updated figure later on Thursday.

By Chris Lisinski, State House News Service

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